RIO DE JANEIRO – An officer was killed and two others were wounded when gunmen attacked a police station on Sunday in a “favela,” or shantytown, in downtown Rio de Janeiro, a Brazilian city where 118 law enforcement agents have been murdered this year, officials said.
The attack occurred around 6:00 am in the Morro da Providencia favela and targeted officers assigned to a special unit deployed to fight the drug traffickers who seized control of several districts in Rio following the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Sgt. Vitor Aleixo de Oliveira was shot in the head and died while being treated at a hospital, officials said.
Two other officers were shot and transported to a hospital for treatment of head and arm wounds.
The two wounded officers are listed in stable condition.
A Morro da Providencia resident was shot in the ankle during the attack, officials said.
Da Oliveira is the 118th police officer murdered in Rio de Janeiro this year.
Last year, according to crime statistics released this month, 437 police officers were killed in Brazil, a figure that was up 17.5 percent from 2015.
In a separate attack, gunmen opened fire on police officers in Cidade de Deus (City of God), a shantytown made famous by a 2002 movie of the same name that tells the story of Rio’s drug dealers and their turf wars, but no one was wounded.
Cidade de Deus, a complex of several poor neighborhoods in the western section of Rio, is home to about 50,000 people.
The armed forces staged operations in recent weeks in several favelas in the Rio de Janeiro metro area in an effort to end the wave of drug-related violence that started after the Olympics.
President Michel Temer’s administration responded to the wave of violence by deploying 10,000 military personnel in and around the city to bolster security, with the operation expected to last until late 2018.
The security operation, according to official figures, has cost the government nearly 25 million reais (about $7.7 million) as of Oct. 31.
About 4,000 people have been murdered this year in Rio de Janeiro state, whose like-named capital is home to the majority of the region’s population, non-governmental organizations said.